Monday, 20 November 2017

Gardeners learn how to prune fruit trees

GARDENING enthusiasts were taught how to prune apple trees during a course at Cross Lanes Fruit Farm in Mapledurham.

GARDENING enthusiasts were taught how to prune apple trees during a course at Cross Lanes Fruit Farm in Mapledurham.

Gill Franklin, who runs the farm with her husband, taught 15 people how to ensure a healthy crop of fruit every year with a talk followed by a practical demonstration.

Her “pupils” were able to try pruning some of the farm’s 2,000 trees.

Mrs Franklin said: “Everyone was very keen and enthusiastic and they found it interesting. It was about trying to get them to be bolder and making them aware of the broad principles so when they go back to their own trees they understand it. The whole point is to get a good crop of apples every year, not just when the weather is good.”

Mrs Franklin said the practical nature of the course made it better than learning from a book.

“The whole point was we were out in the orchard and the participants were doing it themselves,” she said.

“People enjoy it because they can go back home and feel they really know what they’re doing.” Chris Whittle, 60, an engineering manager from Caversham Heights, was on his second course in order to refresh his memory.

He said: “I need the skills because I have a fruit tree in my garden that needs attention.

“The talk was great — we had an introduction to the different types of trees and how to prune them.

“It was definitely worth doing a second round because you pick up a whole load more information and it sinks in better.”

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